Feb. 7, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 1 South Carolina will look to get back in the race for the No. 1 seed at next month’s SEC Championship when the Gamecocks travel to Bishop, Ga. to face the sixth-ranked Georgia at the UGA Equestrian Complex. Saturday’s competition will begin at 2 p.m. and admission is free.
“Coming off the New Mexico State competition last week, I think that proved to be a good meet for us because we were able to see some things we needed to work on heading into this weekend,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “Georgia is a very talented team, and quite frankly they’re much better than their ranking, so we aren’t approaching this meet like we’re competing against the No. 6 team in the country. They beat us in the fall at our place, and we made some mistakes that gave them a couple of points, and when you have two competitive teams in a tight meet, one or two points usually ends up being the difference.”
SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS
â€¢ South Carolina is currently No. 1 in the latest National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) Rankings.
â€¢ The Gamecocks have been ranked No. 1 for ten straight weeks. With the next rankings not being released until after next week, Carolina is assured of at least 11 straight weeks as the nation’s top-ranked team.
â€¢ South Carolina is 7-2 overall this season and 1-2 in SEC play.
â€¢ The Gamecocks are 2-1 at home, 4-1 on the road, and 1-0 in neutral site action.
â€¢ The Gamecocks have posted nine or more points in every meet this season.
â€¢ The Gamecocks have posted nine or more points in 15 of their last 16 dual meets, dating back to last season.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
â€¢ Georgia enters Saturday’s meet as the No. 6 team in the NCEA Rankings.
â€¢ The Bulldogs are 7-2 overall this season and 3-1 in SEC play.
â€¢ Georgia is 2-0 at home, 4-2 on the road, and 1-0 in neutral site action.
â€¢ The Bulldogs have already competed three times during the spring. Georgia opened with a 17-3 win over Delaware State on Jan. 24, followed by a 9-9 tiebreaker win over Tennessee-Martin on Jan. 25. Last week, the Bulldogs picked up a 10-9 decision at Texas A&M.
â€¢ Georgia has never lost three consecutive meets to an opponent at the UGA Equestrian Complex.
The last time South Carolina and Georgia faced off was Oct. 11, 2013 in Blythewood. Despite an impressive 7-3 performance by South Carolina’s hunt seat team, Georgia’s western squad cruised to a 6-2 victory to tie the meet, 9-9. In the raw score tiebreaker, the Bulldogs won, handing South Carolina its first loss of the 2013-2014 season.
LAST MEETING IN GEORGIA
The Gamecocks and Bulldogs let met at the UGA Equestrian Complex on Nov. 2, 2012. The Gamecocks jumped out to an early 4-1 lead over then-No. 1 Georgia, and never looked back, holding on for the 11-8 win. The Gamecocks’ hunt seat team won 6-4, and the western team edged the Bulldogs, 5-4. Carolina swept both of the western MVPs, with then-senior Audrey Jewell earning MVP honors in reining, and then-freshman Kelsey Urban winning her first career MVP as a Gamecock.
BACK-TO-BACK AGAINST THE RED & BLACK
South Carolina has won back-to-back meets over the Bulldogs at the UGA Equestrian Complex. Prior to the Gamecocks’ 11-8 win over then No. 1 Georgia in Bishop last season, Carolina won the 2012 Southern Equestrian Championship by knocking off then-No. 1 Georgia in a 10-10 tiebreaker.
ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER
Saturday’s competition will be third straight meeting between the Gamecocks and Bulldogs in Bishop where one of the two teams hold the top spot in the NCEA Team Rankings. South Carolina has won both of those meets, and will look to avoid a streak in which the No. 1 team has dropped the meet.
EIGHT IS ENOUGH
Saturday’s meet between the Gamecocks and Bulldogs will be the eighth straight meeting in which one of the teams has been ranked No. 1.
â€¢ Feb. 8, 2014 – No. 1 South Carolina at No. 6 Georgia
â€¢ Apr. 20, 2013 – No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 3 Georgia (NCEA Western, L, 3-5)
â€¢ Oct. 11, 2013 – No. 1 Georgia at No. 3 South Carolina (L, 9-9)
â€¢ Mar. 29, 2013 – No. 6 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Georgia (W, 10-7)
â€¢ Feb. 2, 2013 – No. 3 Georgia at No. 1 South Carolina (L, 8-11)
â€¢ Nov. 2, 2012 – No. 2 South Carolina at No. 1 Georgia (W, 11-8)
â€¢ Apr. 14, 2012 – No. 3 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Georgia (NCEA Hunt Seat, 3-5)
â€¢ Mar. 31, 2012 – No. 6 South Carolin at No. 1 Georgia (W, 10-10)
SEC RACE HEATING UP
The race for the No. 1 seed at next month’s SEC Championship is officially a three-horse race between the Gamecocks, Georgia, and Auburn. Georgia is currently 3-1 in the conference, while Auburn is 2-1, and Carolina is 1-2. In order to stay alive in the race for the top seed, Carolina will either need to beat Georgia outright on Saturday, or win the tiebreaker by enough raw score points to make up for the differential from the fall meeting. If the Gamecocks beat Georgia on Saturday, Carolina would then need to beat both Auburn and Georgia at home to lock up the No. 1 spot. If Georgia wins on Saturday, the Bulldogs will clinch the top spot and will get to face Texas A&M in the opening round.
The Gamecocks return to action on Feb. 22 in Blythewood, when Carolina hosts No. 9 Texas A&M at One Wood Farm. The Aggies defeated the Gamecocks, 10-9, during the fall.